The Horror genre has been in a peculiar position as of late. A few recent titles aside, the genre has for the most part been suffering, or at least on the consoles (admittedly I’m not as knowledgeable on the P.C. end of things.) The recent Resident Evil games have in my opinion become simple action shooters that even lack the common jump scares found in other games and the more pressured situations just seem to lack true horror, what I mean to say is that the puzzles or difficult enemies are no scarier than those you’d encounter in any RPG. Dead Space 3 seemed to follow suit and then there are games like Left4Dead which are touted as horror but really appears to be a one way first person shooter, MOBA type game. Sure the infected players can be scary but I don’t think they quite qualify as horror since at best they can simulate a jump scare by attacking the player when they least expect it. Luckily a proper reemergence appears to be on the rise.
Now there are plenty of players who’re fine continuing with the endless number of shooters, RPG, MOBA’s and whatnot which is fine, I have a blast playing all of those just like you do but Horror games bring experiences that are unlike most of the others. Usually the player is at least made to feel like the one who is vulnerable rather than the mighty hero. Obviously there are exceptions but this theme, I feel, makes the genre important to the industry because it delivers a unique experience in a special way. Every genre is unique but the methodology is what’s important here, in most other games you may start as ignorant and/or weak but for the most part, before you know it, you’ve become quite formidable and some opposing entity is now aware of you whether it be some Dark Lord, a Private Military Company or group of Elite Assassins. In Horror games though, the objective from the designer’s perspective is usually to make the player feel like they’re vulnerable and at times, are nothing more than the oppositions play thing. In Horror games, you should usually feel like you’re on the run. This unique role is where the value behind the horror game lies. So when all of these recent “Horror” games made me feel like the Master Chief, Commander Shepard or Marcus Fenix, they sort of lost their value. That’s where I feel we’ve been for the past few years, instead of focusing on what makes us vulnerable, we’ve usually been given characters that are essentially just badassing their way through all opposition and if they can’t kill immediately, they find a bigger gun. This may be vague but it gets the point across, we’re shooting the zombies and they’re dying…. long before they have any shot at attacking us let alone scaring us.
As I said before though, there are some games which have recently caught my eye and I imagine some of you could probably guess which ones. First off there was Alien: Isolation where admittedly, I didn’t really care for many of the “Working Joe” encounters but I
guess there had to be some fluff scenarios in there. I’m not saying they weren’t tough at times but they didn’t do anything to add to the horror. Human enemy’s long range capabilities made them an issue earlier on since your own lethal options were quite limited, when you factor in Amanda Ripley’s low health, it could make for some challenging situations but let’s be serious; the Alien was the actual Horror part of the game. YOU COULDN’T KILL THE DAMN THING!!! It followed you almost the whole time and you couldn’t kill it! After a time you got the gist of what areas were safe and which it would appear in but the Xeno, at best could only be held off and the Fla